November 23, 2014

Criminal Procedure Rule 17(h) Revised for Failure to Obey Subpoena; Effective in July

The Colorado Supreme Court has amended Rule 17(h) of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure – Failure to Obey a Subpoena. The rule change comes after the Court requested comment last year. The new rule reads:

(h) Failure to obey subpoena.

(1) Contempt. Failure by any person without adequate excuse to obey a duly served subpoena may be deemed a contempt of the court from which the subpoena issued. Such contempt is indirect contempt within the meaning of C.R.C.P. 107. The trial court may issue a contempt citation under this subsection (1) whether or not it also issues a bench warrant under subsection (2) below.

(2) Trial witness—bench warrant.

(A) When it appears to the court that a person has failed without adequate excuse to obey a duly served subpoena commanding appearance at a trial, the court, upon request of the subpoenaing party, shall issue a bench warrant directing that any peace officer apprehend the person and produce the person in court immediately upon apprehension or, if the court is not then in session, as soon as court reconvenes. Such bench warrant shall expire upon the earliest of:

(i) submission of the case to the jury; or

(ii) cancellation or termination of the trial.

(B) Upon the person’s production in court, the court shall set bond.

This amendment was adopted on April 23, 2012 and is effective July 1, 2012.

Click here to review the red line changes to Rule 17(h), outlined as Rule Change 2012(05).

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